--> --> Abstract: Geology and Resource Potential of the Manteo Prospect, by M. Ibrahim, F. Adinolfi, G. Edson, and J. Kienzle; #91005 (1991).

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Geology and Resource Potential of the Manteo Prospect

IBRAHIM, MAHER, FRED ADINOLFI, GARY EDSON, and JACK KIENZLE, Minerals Management Service, Herndon, VA

The Manteo exploration unit, located approximately 32 mi northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, is a potential East Coast elephant-size field. The unit consists of 21 leases that cost industry $296 million in bonuses since 1981. Mobil has estimated that the unit may contain as much as 5 tcf of natural gas, which would be the largest domestic find since Prudhoe Bay.

The Manteo prospect, on the seaward margin of the Carolina Platform, lies between two major basins: the Baltimore Canyon Trough to the north and the Carolina Trough to the south. The prospect is within the western Atlantic carbonate trend, a Jurassic-Early Cretaceous reef and platform limestone complex that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to Newfoundland.

Seismic interpretation is complicated by distortions caused by abrupt changes of water depth and the presence of submarine canyons. A corrected depth map near the top of the Jurassic shows a large east-northeast-trending structure about 30 mi long and 5 mi wide with structural closure of over 1000 ft. Source rock analyses suggest that Upper Jurassic carbonate reservoirs would more likely contain gas than oil. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates reservoir parameters from wells drilled on trend (Baltimore Canyon Trough) and recovery parameters from worldwide analogs.

The 21-block unit was approved by the MMS in May of 1990. Since 1988, the MMS has worked with North Carolina, Federal and local agencies, and Mobil in preparation for wildcat exploration approval. The MMS has prepared an extensive environmental report for this exploration proposal.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91005 © 1991 Eastern Section Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 8-10, 1991 (2009)